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SEC: Biopharmaceutical company liable for former CEO's accounting violations

By Mark Iandolo | Dec 21, 2017

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced Dec. 12 that it has charged Provectus, a biopharmaceutical company based in Tennessee, alleging a series of accounting controls and disclosure violations.

“The SEC’s settlement with Provectus – which does not include any penalty – takes into account the proactive remediation and cooperation by the company’s new leadership.  Provectus fired wrongdoers, took other steps to remedy its controls, and provided SEC staff with critical information regarding its former executives’ expense reimbursement abuses,” said Steven Peikin, co-director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division.

The SEC alleges that Dr. H. Craig Dees, the former CEO of Provectus, used fabricated expense documentation forms to amass millions of dollars of company funds. According to the SEC, Provectus is liable because it allegedly lacked sufficient controls for reporting travel and entertainment expenses.

“Reimbursement of travel and entertainment expenses, and other perks paid to executives, can be material information, and companies must ensure that the perks they pay for executives are properly recorded and disclosed in public filings,” said Stephanie Avakian, co-director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division. “Provectus failed to give its shareholders all of the relevant information about how its top executives were being compensated by the company.”

Handling the case for the SEC is Brittany Hamelers, Christina McGill, Paul Harley, Allen Genaldi, and Nicholas A. Pilgrim.

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